Have You Made A Deposit Against The District Leave Bank?
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Celebration Event To Take Place April 23 at Soka University.
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Next Session - Mar 30. CUSD Near Bottom In County .
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Capistrano Unified Education Association

27422 Aliso Creek Road, Suite 100

Aliso Viejo, CA 92656


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Catastrophic Leave Bank - Have You Made Your Deposit?

What happens if you become so ill that you use up all of your sick leave? Well, under the contract in Article 10.17, catastrophic leave is defined as “. . . an illness or injury that is expected to incapacitate the employee for an extended period of time, requires the employee to take time off from work for an extended period of time and taking extended time off work creates a financial hardship for the employee because he or she has exhausted all of his or her sick leave and other paid time off."  “Paid time off” would include regular sick leave, extended sick leave (differential) [see 10.2.10], and industrial accident leave.


What do you do then? If you have deposited into the district Sick Leave Bank, you may use sick leave also donated by others, subject to certain restrictions as laid out in all of Article 10.17. You can find out by looking at the contract how to contribute and what the restrictions are.

Don’t wait until it is too late!  Donate now, if you meet the requirements. You will feel like you have some insurance against a catastrophe, and you will be helping your fellow employees in need.


What Are My Rights In An IEP Meeting?

Do I have to attend an IEP after my contract hours? 

What if I disagree with the recommendations in the IEP? 

Can I sign an IEP if I was not at a meeting? 

What are my rights if a student with an IEP is disrupting my instructional environment? 

Teachers have asked frequently about their rights and responsibilities in connection with students with IEPs.  We have heard you, and we have invited Karen Turner, a special education expert with CTA’s Instruction and Professional Development to talk to our members about this issue on Thursday, May 7, at 4:15, here at the CUEA office. We expect this to be extremely informative for all of our members. Please let us know if you will be attending by at the CUEA offices.



What? A Training Day The Last Day Of School?

Questions are beginning to come in to the CUEA office from elementary teachers about the last day of school.  In case you have not seen the 2014-15 district calendar yet, the final day for all teachers this year is Monday, June 22. Yes, it is a Monday. The last day for students is Friday, June 19, but our 185th day will be the 22nd.  For secondary teachers, that is their day for grading. For elementary, it’s slated to be the training day for the new math adoption, assuming we have Board approval on a math series. 


Last year, when the calendar committee met, the other option was to have a pupil free day during the spring of this year for training, which would have made Monday the 22nd an instructional day for elementary students (after their secondary siblings finished on Friday) and Tuesday the last day for elementary teachers only (while their secondary counterparts were laying on the beach). So what we have for the last day is the better of the two options. All siblings are finished on Friday and all teachers are finished on Monday. This is an oddity for this year only! You will need to get your classrooms closed up on Friday after the students leave!



What About These Ace Time Changes?

Just in case some of you are unsure about the meaning of the CUSD/CUEA joint communique about Spring Professional Development that went out via email, no need to worry!  We are not adding more meetings and trainings to your ACE days and late starts.  On the contrary, the purpose of this change in direction is to focus on one area for the remainder of this year:  Common Core and the impending SBAC assessments. 


The contract language on ACE time and late starts remains in force.  There will not be any additional meetings to interfere with your independent planning. However, all trainings which do not specifically relate to the implementation of Common Core are to be removed from those schedules and replaced with opportunities to dig deeper into your understanding of Common Core Standards, to continue to collaborate with your colleagues on lesson plans, so that you can be training the students to prepare for the format of SBAC questions.  This is not teaching to the test. It is teaching the standards and helping students prepare for a new format of test which will measure their proficiency with the standards.


We have been hearing two things from our members: you are overwhelmed by the number of trainings you had to attend this fall, and you need time to collaborate with your peers. We have time built into the schedule – ACE and late start times.  We want to make sure that your time is used to do the important work of making this shift in education. This may necessitate rethinking your meetings to align with this focus.  We will be asking for input at Rep Council on what changes are being made.


Scholarships Available To Member Children

If you have a graduating high school senior, now is the time to start applying for the CUEA Scholarship.  Every year CUEA uses money donated by vendors and earned through ticket sales to the Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony to fund scholarships to the children of our members.  The scholarship amounts vary according to the number of applicants, the total amount of money available and depending on the qualifications of the applicants.  In order to apply, the student must meet the following requirements: 

  • One of the parents/guardians must be a teacher in CUSD and a member of CUEA
  • Student must be a graduating senior with an overall GPA of 3.2 or better
  • Student must be planning to attend college

To complete an application, students can find the form on our website ( - , under “Forms.” Note; In order to use the "fill-in" feature, you may need to Open the form in Adobe Reader. You may download this plugin from the homepage of  Applications must be in the CUEA office no later than Monday, March 30.






NEA Representative Assembly Applications

The NEA Representative Assembly is the largest annual democratic convention in the United States.  This year it will be held in Orlando, FL from June 30-July 7.  If you would like to be part of California’s CTA delegation you can obtain the candidacy form from the back of your California Educator (Dec or Jan issues) or NEA Today, or you can find the form online at

This is a big commitment of your time, but it is exciting to participate and represent our members’ interests.  If you are interested in being elected as a delegate, the form must be turned in no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 30, to the CTA Orange Service Center, 281 N. Rampart, Ste. A, Orange, CA 92688 (you can reach that office by phone at 714.978.8861. If you are elected, CTA and CUEA will defray your costs.



State Budget And CUSD

Governor Brown just signed into law the state budget for 2014/15. Below are brief highlights of the budget for school funding.

School District Reserves - The 2014-2015 State Budget includes language that would limit the amount of reserves that school districts statewide would be legally allowed to retain in their local budgets. Passage of this legislation assists us as classroom professionals who advocate for students to be certain that adequate resources will be provided to students and classrooms.

CalSTRS Unfunded Liability – The budget provides a multi-year plan of shared responsibility among the state, school districts and educators to resolve the CalSTRS unfunded liability and provide 100% funding within 32 years. The first year’s increased contributions from all three entities are fairly modest, but escalate further over 3 or 7 years.

Rainy Day Fund– The budget continues the Governor’s proposal for a constitutional amendment for the 2014 ballot to strengthen the existing state budget Rainy Day Fund. This ballot initiative will appear on the November 2014 ballot.



General Elections for CUEA Officers will be held in mid-May. Declaration of Candidacy forms for the following CUEA offices:

  • President;
  • Treasurer,
  • High School, Middle School and Elementary Reps-at-large

are due to the CUEA Office by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, April 23.

Yellow Declaration of Candidacy forms should have been distributed to all CUEA members’ mailboxes.




The Teaching Channel has collected over 800 videos of teachers working with students in the classroom. Occasionally, the CUEA Update will provide videos that may be of special interest to readers.


The return from the Winter Holidays allows teachers to start anew. Here are three short videos, all 2 minutes or less, about starting the day, or class period, successfully.

Setting the Tone from Day One

See how math teacher Nick Romagnolo from Austin, Texas, conducts his first day of school. He says, "Your expectations are what you allow them to do….not what you say."

Attention Getting Signals: One Spot

Romognolo has an interesting technique for getting students’ attention.

Start with a “Do Now”

Knowing that the first activity of the day or class period sets the tone for the class, Romagnolo talks about the need to have students have something to do immediately as they enter classroom.




Elementary Partnership Workshop
Wednesday, January 22, 3:00 p.m.
CUEA Office

Transfer Workshop
Thursday, January 23, 4:00 p.m.
CUEA Office

Maternity Leave Workshop
Wednesday, February 12, 4:00 p.m.
CUEA Office

Call or email at the CUEA for your reservation - 949-900-2280



Bridging to Common Core

Expected to teach to the Common Core English/Language Arts Literary Standards, but have no materials? No worries! As a result of an on-going national project, classroom teachers along with experts in the field, have developed lessons for selected stories in the K-5 Open Court reading series; the 6-8 Prentice Hall (Timeless Voices) English anthologies, and a few lessons of the McDougall Littell "Language of Literature anthologies. All lessons, available on Edmodo, provide text-dependent questions, vocabulary development, and writing tasks that are carefully aligned to the Common Core.

To access lessons follow these directions:

1. Log onto to EdModo. (it is easy to join, go to

2. Find "Groups on left-hand panel;click on the encircled + found next
the word "Groups and a window will open, click on Join.

3. Join will take you to "Join Group

Elementary use this Group Code: F4Q6NM (all caps)
Secondary use this Group Code: pkx4sp (all small case)

4. Once you have joined the group, go to folders.

5. Lessons are found in the folders listed by publisher

Elementary: find MH Open Court
Middle School: find PH Timeless Voices (last folder of the list)
High School: find ML Language of Literature





District Wants Your Input!

In order to prepare students for the type of questions they will encounter on the Smarter Balanced Assessments in the spring of 2015, CUSD is looking to purchase test item banks for teacher use. There are two companies from which to choose. Michelle Benham provided a quick overview at the CUEA office last June, but would like to include more participants in the decision-making process. Thus there will be 3 more opportunities for teachers to review the offerings from both companies. Sign up on the CUSD staff development website using the appropriate course number listed below.

Thursday, August 29 1-3 pm CUEA Office (Course ID: WS808)

Wednesday, Sept. 4 1-3 pm CUSD Board Room (Course ID: WS809)

Thursday, Sept. 12 3-5 pm CUEA Office (Course ID: WS810)

Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops or tablets so to log into the demo accounts for both companies.





CUSD Standards and Units

Here are the CUSD District links to units that have been developed for Common Core standards.

Elementary Units

Middle School Units

High School Units




NEA Master Teacher Project

The National Education Association (NEA) is partnering with BetterLessons to provide members with Common Core aligned courses and instructional strategies through the NEA Master Teacher Project (NEA MTP). Learn morehere.

The NEA MTP will be working with the best teachers in the country to document and share what makes them so effective. The master teachers will share both the "how (instructional strategies and classroom management procedures) and the "what (complete lessons, units, and courses) behind their successful teaching.

"The best ideas for the classroom come from classroom teachers, says NEA program director Bill Raabe. "We want to build a free, open body of knowledge around effective curriculum and instruction for teachers, by teachers.





State Budget And CUSD

As you may be aware, the CUSD budget for the upcoming school year is wholly dependent upon state funding. Governor Brown presented his proposed budget in January, and then again in the month of May. Although the proposed funding for CUSD as presented in January is more than we have seen in many years, there was hope that it would even be better with the May Revise. Unfortunately that was not the case, in fact, the Governor added an unexpected expenditure to the CUSD budget with an increase to the district's CalSTRS contribution for certificated employees. Before CUSD knows how much funding it will receive for 2014/15, the California State Legislature will respond to the Governors budget proposal. They will need to finish their work by June 15, and because the fiscal year begins on July 1, the governor has two weeks to sign a budget for 2014/15. The first bargaining date for the CUEA and CUSD Negotiation Teams is scheduled for June 12.


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CalSTRS Reminders For
Potential Retirees

Now, there are two great reasons to contact your California Casualty Auto and Home Insurance Program today: 

OR CALL (877)999-8927 TO COMPARE



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Scholarship Opportunities for
CTA Members

CUEA Scholarships Now Available
Applications for graduating high school seniors of CUEA members are now available from the CUEA office.

The parent or guardian of the applicant must be a teacher, speech pathologist, nurse, psychologist or counselor employed in CUSD and a current member of CUEA.

The student must be a graduating senior with an overall GPA of 3.2 or better.

The student must be planning to attend college.

Applications are due Monday, March 12, 2012 of each year.

Application Fill-In Form (MS Word)
Application Fill-In Form (pdf)

Contact Julie Gallups the CUEA office by or phone at 949-900-2280 for more information.


CTA Scholarship for Members
Scholarship Amount : $3,000 for up to five members statewide
Eligibility: CTA members working on a credential, degree or graduate program
Requirements : CUEA/CTA membership
Deadline Postmark: February 3, 2012


CTA Scholarship for Dependent Children of CTA Members
Scholarship Amount:
$5,000 for up to twenty-five dependent children of members statewide
Eligibility: Graduating high school seniors; undergraduate or graduate students claimed as a dependent on members' IRS tax forms; dependent child or action, retired or deceased CTA member
Requirements : CUEA/CTA membership
Deadline: February 3, 2012


Del Weber Scholarship for Dependent Children Attending Continuation High School or Alternative Education Programs
Scholarship Amount: $5,000 for one dependent child of a member statewide
Eligibility: Graduating high school senior who is claimed as dependent status on members' IRS tax form; may be a dependent child of an active, retired-life or deceased member.
Requirements: Parent of dependent child must be a CUEA/CTA member
Deadline: February 3, 2012.


For any of these applications go to the CTA website at or contact Julie Gallups at the CUEA office by or phone at 949-900-2280.

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CalSTRS Reminders For
Potential Retirees

If you have called CalSTRS and left your name and phone number, DO NOT CALL AGAIN.  Due to the high volume of calls, they cannot return your phone call immediately, but they will get back to you! Additionally, DO NOT sign up for both an individual and a Group Counseling workshop – they are the same thing.  At the group workshop, you will receive a customized packet of information just as you would at the individual conference. Check out the CalSTRS website here  for information about telephone conferences.



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Maternity Leave Informational Workshop

Monday, February 25
4:00-5:00 p.m.
at the CUEA Office

27422 Aliso Creek Road, Suite 100
Aliso Viejo 92656

An informational workshop for teachers
interested in learning more about
maternity sick-leave.

Please RSVP:

Click here for printed Flyer

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CUEA Scholarship Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the following high school seniors
for receiving a 2014 CUEA Scholarship:

Patrick Antonius JSerra Catholic HigTerry Antonius
Jordyn Asakowicz San Clemente HighJanelle Asakowicz
Justin Burke Tesoro HighShaun Burke
Camille Calentino San Clemente HighMark/Jennifer Calentino
Dylan Devaney San Juan Hills HighBrian/Suzanne Devaney
Joy Evanston Aliso Niguel HighBill Evanston
Andrew Ferguson San Juan Hills HighJulia Ferguson
Megan Forster Dana Hills HighGlenn Forster
Matthew Garritson San Clemente HighMelanie Garritson
Brenna Giacchino Capistrano Valley HCorinne Giacchino
Ali Hanley San Clemente HighKim Haney
Jonah Hobbs Irvine HighLinder Hobbs
Justin Hunter Dana Hills HighKim Hunter
Drew Kurt San Clemente HighKristine Lloyd
Hannah Martin Laguna Beach HighLoretta Martin
Marjorie McGaw San Clemente HighRandall McGaw
Colin McSweeney Capistrano Valley HHeidi McSweeney
Austin Miller San Clemente HighMargaret Miller
Brandon Miller Laguna Hills HighLinda Miller
Brent Mortenson Laguna Hills HighJanice Mortenson
Cody Russell Mission Viejo HighJami Russell
Thomas Smith Aliso Niguel HighSarah Smith
Megan Steidle El Toro HighGwynne Steidle
Nicki Vleisides San Clemente HighPerra Vleisides
Hayden Werner Tesoro HighTracy Werner



Beginning Of The Year Contract Reminders

Credit for Summer Classes
If you have taken summer classes for salary credit, you must submit transcripts to the CUSD Personnel Department no later than October 31.  CUEA suggests you get the paperwork in much earlier.

Kindergarten Reminder
Kindergarten teachers have priority when signing up for the computer lab and library on ACE days.

Elementary Combo Classes
Three/four combo teachers receive the same release time as 4th grade teachers, 80 minutes of block music release per week; also K/1 teachers receive the same daily morning duty-free release time as teachers with straight Kindergarten classes. Click here for a copy of the recommendations made for forming combo classes.


High School Late Start Days

When putting together the Late Start schedule for the high school 2013/14 school year, it is important that teachers and administration follow the CUEA/CUSD Contract. Article 5.8.3 states that "Late Start days at the high school level shall be scheduled with the input and approval of the staff. The frequency, duration, and usage for Late Start days shall be voted on by a secret ballot by a majority of the staff members at each respective school. And Article 5.8.4 states that "Faculty meetings shall be no longer than one hour in length and conducted no more than once a month. Faculty meetings for the month will occur on an ACE/Late Start day.

This means that teachers must be involved in deciding not only how many Late Start days will be scheduled, but how those days will be used as well. Besides the faculty meeting, other choices Late Start days may include the following: department meeting; staff development; collaboration meetings; independent planning time; and meetings dedicated to the WASC process. For reference, high school teachers may want to refer to Article 5.8.2 which describes the rotation for ACE days (late start) at the middle school: one staff meeting a month, two grade level or department level or staff development days per month; and one "teacher preparation day per month.

With school closing a week earlier than usual, CUEA suggests that the secret ballot voting be completed prior to the Memorial Day holiday.

Sub Coverage Pay For All Teachers

District office has been releasing teachers for the past few months to attend trainings and meetings which has resulted in a shortage of subs for teachers who are absent on any given day. This means that teachers are being asked to cover each other classes during the school day.

As per Article 5.13 of the CUEA/CUSD Contract, all teachers, elementary and secondary, music and special ed teachers, get paid $35 an hour to cover a colleagues class if the substitute does not show up, or for as long as it takes for the sub to arrive if the instructional day has already started. Additionally, if students from the absent teacher are sent to other teachers classrooms, those teachers also receive $35 an hour as well.

This contract provision is not new, so if you have been covering classes anytime this year, or taking students from another class, without getting paid, notify your principal immediately so the proper paperwork can be completed - this includes RSP teachers.

Report Card Comments

It has been agreed by both the district and CUEA that elementary teachers are responsible for their own comments on report cards. Therefore, principals should not be asking teachers to submit comments for review, prior to sending to parents. However, principals may access report cards at anytime anyway.

Additionally, teachers need to remember that because the Standards Based Report Card is so specific to each standard, teachers should not need to make many additional comments unless a grade needs to be documented.

Contract Close Up: Elementary ACE Calendars

New Elementary ACE Calendars are now available to principals and leadership teams.  The newly revised Elementary ACE Calendars include a "tracking chart which allows a school to count up the number of  Independent Planning Days; Non-ACE days (like parent conferences); and the combined number of staff/grade level/staff development days per year.

The number of ACE days vary this year dependent upon the day of the week. Schools with Tuesday ACE have 33 ACE days for the 2011/12 school year and should reflect a 16/17 split between Independent Planning and staff/grade level/staff development.  Schools on Wednesday and Thursday ACE have at total of 35 ACE days and should reflect a 17/18 split between Independent Planning and staff/grade level/staff development days.  Since the number of ACE days is uneven, the split should reverse every other year

Personal Necessity Days
Did You Know There Are 10?

One of the major contract changes effective in 2012-13 is the addition of 3 more Personal Necessity days ("PN Days"), for a total of 10 days. This means all ten (10) of your allotted sick days per year can be used for personal necessity reasons. Keep in mind, you still must tell your principal in advance of the need to take a Personal Necessity day. Also, see the line item below about "No-Tell" days.

Five "No-Tell" Personal
Necessity Days

New contract language was  adopted last spring allowing for three (5) "No Tell" days. Refer to Article 10.3.3 in the CUEA/CUSD Contract now online at the CUEA website. There is no restriction  as to when those days may taken. Keep in mind that these 5 days are part of the 10 PN days allowed per year as enumerated in Article 10.3.

What To Do About Jury Duty

If you are called for jury duty, you have the option to either serve when called, or postpone your service to a non-working day during winter or spring break or the summer vacation months.

If you choose to postpone and serve on your "own time," the district will pay you the same amount they would have paid a regular subsitute. In order to receive the substitute pay, you must submit a copy of the original summons, the notification of postponement of service, and the dated proof of jury service.

If you decide to serve your duty during the school year, the district pays for your sub and the days on jury duty are not counted against your sick leave.


Contract CloseUp App and Mobile Site For Android and IPhone

The CUEA Contract CloseUp App is available as a free downloadable app from Google's Play Store for Android type phones, and as a mobile online site for IPhone and Android users. The app or mobile site is a free download and intended to answer typical contract questions from members of CUEA.

The CUEA Contract App answers many common questions regarding the provisions of the CUEA/CUSD Contract particularly in the areas of Jury Duty, PN Days, and Hours of Work requirements. Just click on the question and the appropriate contractual answer will appear.

Android LogoFor Android Devices Only
Click on this link from your device to download and install the CUEA Contract App from Google Play Store. Search CUEA Contract.

IPhone LogoAndroid LogoFor IPhone or Android Devices
Click on this link from your device to open the online mobile CUEA Contract link . Once open, just bookmark the site using your phone's normal bookmarking feature.

(Sorry, at this time their is no app available through Apple's ITunes Stores)

Screen Samples. . .

Main Menu

CUEA App Homepage

Choose the area of questions at the top of the screen, then scroll up and down to find a question that you are concerned about. Touch the screen and the answer will pop up on a second screen.

Answer Page

CUEA App Answer Page

The Apple Logo, ITunes, and IPhone are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. The Android Logo is a registered trademark of Google, Inc. CUEA is an independent organization and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. or Google, Inc.”